Warning: This post contains parental bragging.
My throat's irritated today, but not because I'm sick. It's because I spent yesterday afternoon cheering on my sons and their teammates at a track meet. There's nothing like a good race to get your blood flowing. I love baseball, but the thrills are few and far between. Give me a horse race, a dog race, even a turtle race and I get that elemental rush of excitement that comes from wanting to win.
Mark, my 17-year old, was entered in the 1500 and 800 meter races. He won the 1500 by a nose in a time of 4:18. He and his teammate basically ran as a unit and made short work of the rest of the field. Either of them could've won the race. It was the 800m event that really got the crowd screaming. Mark had told me the night before he didn't think he could win this race, though I know he wanted to. His opponent was the RI State Indoor Track Champion in the 600m, and whereas Mark had already run the 1500, this guy was running on fresh legs.
Mark stayed on his opponent's shoulder for the first 400 meters and then made his move. He passed him on the back stretch, pulling away with every stride. With 200 meters to go, Mark was ahead by 10 meters, a gap that never really closed. Mark's time was 1:58.4, the fastest in the state so far this season. One team's euphoria was matched in intensity by the other's agony in defeat. Epic.
Living for sweet moments like these was what I thought about during the rougher patches of my battle with AML. There I was, jumping up and down and hollering like a lunatic, victorious.